Sunday December 3, 2023

How Sports Transcend Cultures — Notes from a World Traveler

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

Wherever you go, sports serve as a unifying factor.

Three 1 minute rounds have never hurt so badly

Three months ago, I embarked on a trip that was supposed to end a few days ago. I was meant to spend about one month backpacking through Europe with my family and two months solo in Southeast Asia, followed by graduate school to study business and sport management.

Alas, about five weeks into the trip, the rush of globetrotting hit me like a ton of bricks. I had experienced this freedom before — during a three month Euro trip two years prior — and this time I wasn’t prepared to let it go so easily.

It was this intoxicating feeling that prompted me to defer graduate school for at least a year and pursue an opportunity that affords me the privilege of traveling. For the better part of the next nine months, I will be working remote for The Growth of a Game, before joining the team full-time in the Spring at the Brussels office.

The more I travel, the more appreciation I have for sports. As I write this article, I am sitting in Vietnam, the 33rd country I have had the fortune to visit. Along the way, I’ve met individuals from every corner of the world, from Australia to Korea to Zimbabwe to Venezuela.

Each country certainly has its own distinct culture and I have had the chance to witness a lot of them firsthand. But what strikes me more than the different cuisines, languages and architecture is the universal adoration for sports.

Somewhere between playing soccer with English teenagers, winning my first (and only) Muay Thai bout in Thailand, watching an American football game on German soil and kicking a wicker ball around with locals in Myanmar, it all clicked for me. Sports are one of the few things in this world that transcend culture and unify us.

You and I could have completely different political views, but for two hours on the soccer field, we’re on the same team. Two people could be completely unable to communicate verbally, yet spend time playing catch. Thanks to sports, we can all be on the same team, with the same goal, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or conviction. That is the power of sports.

I understand that, to some, sports seem like a waste of time. Over the course of a three hour football game, little is done to directly solve the world’s problems. If anything, the player’s lives could be harmed severely as recent studies have shown.

But, when you take a step back and look at the connections formed through sports and the lessons it teaches, I can’t think of a better way to pass time. Communities are formed. New friendships are made. Old friendships are strengthened. People learn about themselves, their limits and how to work with one another. So much is communicated through sports that cannot simply be spoken in a conference room or laboratory.

This is why I have joined The Growth of a Game. Our mission is to build communities throughout Europe around the game that we love: American football. We aim to give teams the tools and equipment they need to succeed, so that this great sport can continue to grow abroad. But overall, we just want to see more people playing.

Because, after all, what is life without play?

Front Office Sports is a leading multi-platform publication and industry resource that covers the intersection of business and sports.

Want to learn more, or have a story featured about you or your organization? Contact us today.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Silver Hints At Potential NBA International Expansion As More Games Planned

Commissioner touts potential expansion in both Mexico, Canada.
Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger and center Matt Duchene celebrate after the Stars defeat the St. Louis Blues in the overtime shootout period at the American Airlines Center.

The Dallas Stars Want to Be Part of NHL’s Mexico Movement

The NHL shortlisted Mexico City as a future host city.

Inside the NFL Meetings: International Games, Turf Debates, and More

Decision forthcoming on additional international game in 2024

NHL Sees Big Opportunity In Mexico For Future Games

League looks to southern neighbor of U.S. at teams' behest
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

CFP Looking to Super Bowl for Media Rights Plan


Featured Today

The College Football Playoff is considering rotating TV networks for the national championship game.

CFP Considers Super Bowl-Like Rotation For National Championship Game

Multiple networks could share rights to the championship game, sources told FOS.
Brett Favre
November 27, 2023

Favre Welfare Case Hold-Up? "AG’s Office Has Not Expressed Interest In Pursuing"

The DOJ interviewed Brett Favre in early 2020.
The future of the Pac-12 rests on a court decision.
November 24, 2023

The Pac-12 Plays Its Final Regular-Season Game. Then A Court Decides Its Fate.

The conference's future rests with a court decision.
Lane Kiffin
November 9, 2023

Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin Lawyers Argue for Dismissal of Player Lawsuit

FOS obtained audio of Lane Kiffin's interaction with the player behind lawsuit.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Saco Bay PT
Multiple - USA Careers

MLS’ Chris Schlosser on Pioneering the Digital-First Sports League with AI

Chris Schlosser discusses MLS's growth and digital transformation.
Titans stadium.
April 19, 2023

Titans' Historic New $2.1B Stadium One Step Closer to Reality

About $1.26B in public money would go toward the new stadium.
April 25, 2023

Oakland A’s Could Share Stadium with Triple-A Team

The Oakland A's could be searching for a place to play.

NHL’s Chris Foster on Amplifying Content Distribution With Automation

Learn how the NHL is using WSC Sports to increase fan engagement.
May 20, 2022

Crypto Crash Impact on Sports Sponsorships

Prior to the last two weeks, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, exchanges, and a host…
March 11, 2022

The Evolution of Consumer Wearables

The wearables market has seen incredible amounts of growth since the onset of the pandemic. Trends like telemedicine and remote patient monitoring have helped spur adoption and inspired new consumer products that allow for the tracking and collection of biometric data.
February 11, 2022

The Role of Live Sports in Streaming

The streaming wars have intensified as the field is as competitive as ever. One way to retain customers? The answer might be live sports.
February 4, 2022

Super Bowl Ad Market Examined

The Super Bowl is now only one week away and the stakes…